Its no secret that we live in a patriarchal society. Ask a young woman in her 20s jackpot if shes single and shell tell you. She has to confront and combat a million instances of patriarchy just to get to the end of the day. Because a woman with an independent existence and decision-making agency is a hard pill to swallow for the desi aunties and uncles around us. Were never enough always too fat, too thin, too talkative, too quiet, our clothes and habits under scrutiny all the time. And when we question these unfair terms we are expected to live by, were seenas troublemakersintent on maligning thesanskaarsof Indian culture with habits too bold or voices too loud.
These are everyday events in the life of women, like me and you, who know what they want for themselves.Unfortunately, it comes with boxes and labels of all sorts loose, bad, sluts, characterless all of which demeans our identity as individuals and women. Since its a common malady, we asked a bunch of 20-somethings about the whackiest things they have been told by relatives and elders that made them go WTF!
Trust your relatives and aunties to notice even the slightest changes in your skin colour as if their lives depended on it. Seriously, who needs shade cards when we have these people around?
The sheer glee elders experience in reminding you of the fact that youre getting older and counting days to your marriage remains unsurpassed by anything else. What did you say? You dont want to get married? Sorry, I cant hear you over the noise of yourbaraatIm visualising in my head.
This, even when youre spending your own hard-earned money on some well-earned goodies for yourself. Thanks, but no thanks aunty. If I ever have a husband, he can keep his money in a bank for all I care. Im financially independent.
Haath se nahiaunty, Indiase nikal gayi.
Find me a woman who hasnt received this narrow-minded remark where beauty standards are defined in terms of weight scales and ideal bodies. You wont be able to, because it is just that common.
Oh lord. Make up your minds!
For some of us, the ultimateaishlies in acquiring degrees, higher education, and knowledge. For you aunty, it may lie in leading a relaxed life at home. But hey, you dont see us judging you for it, do you? To each her own.
This is a common refrain heard on family WhatsApp groups, where forwarded messages about select women achieving big landmarks are expected to explain away the centuries of patriarchy we have been subjected to. Because logic is justtamasha.
This is some new-age feminist mutation where women are allowed to drink in gatherings, but only when men arent around. But dont worry. If you see a man eyeing your glass, cover it with a napkin, and your whisky will turn to Coke.
I wonder where this perception of wine being a womans drink comes from. Is it the wine glass that incidentally resembles female curves? Is it the low alcohol content in wine? Or is it simply just male insecurity?
It has taken us women a long time to get comfortable with our bodies, and were now at a stage where we are accepting them with love, hair or no hair. (And sometimes were just lazy to shave our arms, so please dont nag.)
Wait, you like less hair on my arms, but more hair on my head? In PM Modis words, hypocrisyki bhi seema hoti hai.
Offer to take whoever tells you this to the tailor with you the next time youre getting a blouse made, so they can correspond the length of the blouses back with their desired level ofsanskaarand mark it for you.
Right, and youre running the country from this drawing room, yeah? YOU go make me a sandwich this time.
If there are people I trust with all my life, its my girl gang that is at this point practically trained in the craft of looking out for me no matter what. Theyre the Shera to my Salman Khan.
Um should I just go alone then?
Just confirming that first point about the shade card.
There are millions of other things that I dont know how to do at 20. I dont know how to deep-sea dive, or how to milk a cow, or how to find a vaccine for coronavirus. Why are you singling outroti-making?
Sex before marriage? Haw! But its not just relatives who say this. Gynaecologists often morally police women during their check-ups, frowning at those who say they engage in consensual sex. Were literally shelling out money to tell them this, why do they even have a problem?
Because hymenaurat ka gehna hota hai.(Well,sharamand hymen both.)
Okay, first of all, bras are among the most expensive pieces of clothing we wear. Secondly, were expected to spend a bomb on it and then hide it like it doesnt exist? No thanks, my cute bra strap deserves to feel seen by the world.
By that logic, everything that doesnt show doesnt exist, right? Great, looks like weve found a way to deal with COVID-19.
Maintaining this facade of women as demure beings who shouldnt talk, laugh, or basically draw attention in any way in public is what has held back women for decades now.
It so happens that I have the privilege of a wide wardrobe that lends me choices ranging from kurtas to crop tops that I have bought and will wear. And I know youll judge me for either, so why should I care? (That rhymed.)
No, repeat after me: healthy humans dont smoke.
What about the girl who came after me wearing a salwar-kameez who was covered top to bottom but was also catcalled as I was? Should she have also expected it?
Oh aunty, where do I begin? Isnt your nose already too deep into my business for you to be stalking every single picture I upload on Instagram?
Whats an easy way to tell people that office spaces have been essentially designed according to mens physical needs, and that they must accommodate womens needs into it without drawing a false correlation to equal pay, which is a wholly different issue?
Parents, understand this. Some houseplants can survive indoors, while some need the outdoors to live, breathe, stretch their tendrils as wide as they like. That doesnt mean youll love either of them any more or less, right?
Im willing to sacrifice your misplacedizzatin a second if it translates into more harassers behind bars and a stronger #MeToo movement.
Maybe, maybe not. Does it matter?
The only price for a woman to be working in an all-male environment should be the salary she is getting for her work, as her colleagues are. Remaining silent when harassed wasnt on the job profile, and neither should it be. Call it out.
The fact that I have to be thankful to someone who has to still allow me to work reminds me of the disadvantage my gender is at, and is so humbling that it automatically prevents any chances of me flying. Thank you, dear relative, for cutting my wings off.
I wonder how men have managed to sustain themselves all these centuries through evolution if even something as essential (and easy, might I add) as fetching water is supposed to be enough to dent their privileged egos. Next time, tell your brother to get the water to increase his chances of evolutionary survival.
Elders, even if I dont post pictures in revealing clothes online, the ones who are bent on making it dirty have Photoshop editing tools at their disposal. They wont lose time in trading my sweatshirt for a bikini if they wished to.
Aunty, if being middle-class has taught me anything its that it is a must to use every single possession I own down to the last drop of its monetary value. So you best believe if I have a voice with opinions, I will use it to its full worth.
For a country that is obsessed with flashing henna tattoos on the most visible parts of the body, from forearms to legs, people sure do hate ink tattoos for some wild reason.
Get this, there is no one way to look beautiful. Every single body standard you know of is absolutely false, arbitrary, and unfair. Your muscles know this, because they dont know or see gender before popping up after you work to build them.
Not every boy I post a picture with is a boyfriend. Sure, he is a boy friend. Also, why we whispering fam?
Views expressed are the authors own.
Here is the original post:
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